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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-09-17

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    New Cypriot Ambassador to the US Pavlos Anastasiades handed over on Thursday to US President Barak Obama his credentials during a special ceremony at the White House. The US President wished that Cyprus will be reunited soon, noting that the island has been divided for a very long time.

    During a brief encounter they had, Anastasiades told Obama that close cooperation with the US is an issue of priority for the Republic of Cyprus and assured that Cyprus makes every effort for a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    The US President wished that Cyprus will be reunited soon, because the island has been divided for a very long time, while he also noted the fact that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Cyprus independence.

    In the text he gave to the Ambassador receiving his credentials, President Obama described Cyprus as an important ally for the US and said that the two countries cooperate in various issues as security, financial relations, economy, culture and other fields.

    With regard to the issue of Cyprus, the US President underlined that the division of the island has lasted for a very long period of time. He expressed the firm support of the US to the Cypriot led negotiations held under the UN auspices with a view to reunite Cyprus and commended the courage with which Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has been trying to reach a just sand viable settlement of the problem that will reunite Cyprus to a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    President Obama referred to the common values and goals as well as to the longstanding ties between the two countries and wished that the two governments will work to further enhance them.

    In the text he handed over on behalf of the Cypriot government, the Ambassador underlined the importance attributed by the government to its cooperation with the US and to the multifaceted bilateral relations between the two countries which Cyprus wants to enhance. He also noted that Cyprus constitutes a reliable ally for the US.

    With regard to the Cyprus problem, Anastasiades referred to the latest developments at the ongoing negotiations, noting that President Christofias is committed to a settlement on the basis of principles determined by UN resolutions and high level agreements, providing for a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single personality and a single citizenship, a settlement that will be agreed, without timetables and arbitration.

    He underlined that President Christofias recent proposals aim at speeding up the process so as to facilitate its aim the soonest possible. If the other side wants a solution, it must accept these mutually beneficial and constructive proposals, he said.

    He noted that Turkey has a key-role to play and that efforts must be concentrated on its side. Furthermore, he urged the US to work towards this direction so that a Cyprus settlement will be possible to be achieved.

    Anastasiades who assumed his duties on September 1st, was also received at the State Department by Deputy Secretary of State, with whom he discussed latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    President Christofias has put forward a three-tier proposal in a bid to help make headway at the talks.

    The first proposal provides for linking discussions on property to territory and immigration, citizenship, aliens and asylum. Property and territory are considered to be two of the most hotly contested issues at the talks.

    The second proposal calls for the implementation of Security Council resolution 550 which provides for the return of the fenced off area of Varosha - under Turkish occupation since 1974 - to the UN. The objective of the proposal is to restore the town and return it to its legitimate inhabitants. The proposal envisages also the opening of the citys port for trade for the Turkish Cypriots, under EU supervision, as well as the restoration of the walled city of Famagusta (old part of the city).

    The third proposes the convening of an international conference on Cyprus, once the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side are within reach of an agreement on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem. The conference is to be called by the UN, and apart from the Republic of Cyprus and the islands two communities, the EU, the five permanent members of the Security Council and Cyprus three guarantor powers will attend (Greece, Turkey and Britain are the guarantor powers according to the 1960 Constitution).

    Peace talks began in September 2008 between President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Talks continue now with Eroglu, who succeeded Talat.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    A statement by UN spokesman Martin Nesirky caused confusion to journalists, after misquoting the Secretary-General on the Cyprus issue and speaking about forthcoming bi-lateral and multi-lateral meetings.

    Nesirky was asked by a Turkish journalist about a report in the Greek press, which claimed that the Secretary-General will meet with both leaders in October in New York. The report, according to the journalist, added that if the parties cannot reach a common solution by then, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon would declare the Cyprus problem as unsolvable. The spokesmans office later corrected the statement, by saying that no such announcement has been made from the Secretary-Generals part.

    The office also clarified that by bilateral and multilateral meetings, Nesirksy meant UN SG forthcoming contacts in the sidelines of the General Assembly, which however have no relation to the Cyprus issue. The UN spokesman had replied earlier, during the journalists briefing, by quoting the Secretary-General, although no such statement had been made on the issue.

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